Motorola has been slowly adding budget 5G smartphones to its G series over the past year. We recently tested the Moto G51 and were happy with its performance. Motorola has now launched the Moto G71 5G, which is the first smartphone to sport the new Snapdragon 695 SoC in India, and also boasts of a 50-megapixel primary rear camera. So, is the new Moto G71 5G a dependable pick or should you consider the alternatives? I put this smartphone to the test to find out.
Moto G71 5G price in India
The Moto G71 5G is available in a single configuration, with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It is priced at Rs. 18,999 in India and is exclusively sold on Flipkart. You get to choose between two colour options: Neptune Green and Artic Blue. I had the former with me for this review.
Moto G71 5G design
The Moto G71 5G is smaller than most other smartphones in this segment. Apart from its compactness, Motorola has paid attention to ergonomics, and the curved sides make this smartphone comfortable to hold. The Moto G71 5G has a 6.4-inch display with a camera hole, and thin bezels on either side. This makes it easy to use the phone one-handed, though you still can't reach the top of the display with ease.
Motorola has used plastic for the frame of the Moto G71 5G but it doesn't feel cheap. However, the right side feels a little cluttered with four buttons lined up close to each other, while you only have the SIM tray on the left. The power button has a textured finish, which can be easily distinguished based on touch alone. However, the moment you put the supplied case on, you might have a problem finding the correct button without looking . The volume buttons are just above, and are easily reachable. They do provide nice, clicky feedback. Further up is the Google Assistant button which would have been better if it were on the left side, for convenience. In the current position you will need to stretch your fingers in order to reach it.
The Moto G71 5G sports a crisp AMOLED display with a camera hole
Unlike most smartphones that now sport side-mounted fingerprint scanners, Motorola has gone old-school with a capacitive fingerprint scanner on the back. It is well positioned, and my finger rested on it naturally while holding the device. Apart from this, the back of the Moto G71 5G has the camera module, which only protrudes slightly compared to some of the other phones I've recently tested. The back has a glossy finish and it did pick up fingerprints and smudges rather easily. You can use the case in the box to avoid this.
The 3.5mm headphone jack, the primary microphone, and the USB Type-C port are on the bottom of the Moto G71 5G, along with the loudspeaker. At the top, it only has a secondary microphone. The phone has a splash-resistant design and weighs 179g which is manageable.
Moto G71 5G specifications and software
Motorola has taken a slightly different approach to hardware with the Moto G71 5G. It sports a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with full-HD+ resolution, scratch-resistant glass, and a standard 60Hz refresh rate. You can find smartphones such as the Realme 8s 5G (Review) and Moto G51 (Review) that sport higher refresh rates, but these phones don't have AMOLED panels.
The Moto G71 5G is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695, making it the first smartphone in India with this SoC. This octa-core chip is clocked at 2.2GHz, and there's 6GB of RAM. The G71 5G also has a RAM boost feature which assigns 1.5GB of storage to be used as RAM, and this was enabled by default.
It packs in a 5,000mAh battery and has support for 33W fast charging
The Moto G71 5G supports 13 5G bands which is the highest number in this price range in India right now. It also supports 4G VoLTE, Bluetooth 5, NFC, dual-band Wi-Fi, and six satellite navigation systems. It packs in a 5,000mAh battery and you get a 33W TurboPower charger in the box.
Motorola ships the Moto G71 5G with stock Android 11, and my unit had the December Android security patch. It is also expected to get an update to Android 12, though the timeline for this rollout is yet to be confirmed. The MyUX customisation running on top is unobtrusive, and those who like stock Android will still find themselves at home.
There are a few useful additions such as Moto Actions which let you perform certain actions using gestures. Legacy features include a double-chop gesture to toggle the flash, and flip-to-silence. Moto's Gametime app lets you quickly mute incoming notifications and disable auto brightness while gaming. Motorola's smartphones have been free of bloat for a long time now, and usually only have Google apps preinstalled. However, the Moto G71 5G comes with Cred and Facebook, which thankfully can be removed.
Moto G71 5G performance and battery life
The Moto G71 5G delivered snappy performance. The phone was quick to load apps and games, and with 6GB of RAM, I could multitask between them easily. However, I did notice an abnormal lag in the camera viewfinder when the battery level dropped below 15 percent, even without enabling the battery saver mode. This small anomaly aside, the Moto G71 5G did not disappoint. The rear-mounted fingerprint scanner was accurate and needed only a single attempt to unlock the smartphone. Face recognition was consistent too. I enjoyed watching videos on the AMOLED display, as it had good viewing angles and was bright enough even outdoors.
Since the Moto G71 5G is the first smartphone in India to sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 SoC, I was curious to see how it lines up against the competition. In the AnTuTu benchmark, the Moto G71 5G managed to score 3,78,268 points, which is higher than what the MediaTek Dimensity 810-powered Redmi Note 11T 5G (Review) managed. The Moto G71 5G scored 668 and 1,900 points in Geekbench 5's single-core and multi-core tests, respectively. It also managed 60fps and 18fps in graphics benchmark GFXBench's T-Rex and Car Chase tests respectively, and 4,159 in 3DMark's Sling Shot test.
The triple camera module on the Moto G71 5G doesn't protrude much
I played Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) on the Moto G71 5G, and it defaulted to ‘HD' graphics and ‘High' frame rate. The game was playable at these settings without any issues. After about 33 minutes, I observed a six percent drop in the battery level, which is acceptable. The phone wasn't warm to the touch after this gaming session.
I got about a day and a half worth of battery life out of the Moto G71 5G, and casual users might be able to extract even more out of it. For heavy users, the phone should be able to provide one full day of use. In our HD video loop test, the G71 5G ran for 17 hours and 58 minutes, which is good for a 5,000mAh battery. Motorola has bundled a 33W charger in the box that helps charge this phone quickly. It managed to get the phone from zero to 54 percent in 30 minutes and about 91 percent in an hour.
Moto G71 5G cameras
The Moto G71 5G sports a triple camera setup consisting of a 50-megapixel primary camera with an f/1.8 aperture, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera with a 118 degree field of view, and a 2-megapixel macro camera. For selfies, it has a 16-megapixel front camera. Motorola's camera app is simple and easy to use. Commonly used photo and video shooting modes are front and centre, while others are tucked away under a menu. The phone also remembers the last shooting mode which makes it convenient to pick up where you left off. Apart from the laggy viewfinder I mentioned before, I faced no other issues with the camera app.
The Moto G71 5G was quick to lock focus and exposure. The phone saves photos at 12.5 megapixels by default. Daylight photos had decent details and objects at a distance were recognisable. The dynamic range was strictly average though, so shooting bright scenes resulted in some blown-out highlights. Photos shot with the ultra-wide angle camera had lower detail in comparison and appeared warped at the edges of the frame.
Moto G71 5G daylight camera samples. Top to bottom: standard, ultra-wide (tap to see full size)
Close-ups were crisp and colours were fairly accurate. The phone also adds a soft blur to the background thanks to the wide aperture, which helps the subject stand out. The camera UI will suggest switching to the macro camera when you are close enough to a subject. Macro shots weren't as detailed but the camera does let you get very close to subjects. Objects shot in Portrait mode had good edge detection and I could set the level of blur before taking the shot.
Moto G71 5G camera samples. Top to bottom: close-up, macro, and portrait (tap to see full size)
Low-light camera performance was strictly average. Photos weren't as detailed, and magnifying them revealed grainy output. When Night mode was enabled, the phone took about four to five seconds per shot. The output was excessively bright and this made a huge difference, especially in the shadow regions. However, artifacting was visible on checking more closely.
Moto G71 5G low-light camera samples. Top: standard, bottom: Night mode (tap to see full size)
Selfies taken with the Moto G71 5G were crisp and portraits had a good background blur effect. Low-light selfies were good enough for posting on social media.
Moto G71 5G selfie camera samples. Top: daylight selfie portrait, bottom: low-light selfie (tap to see full size)
Video recording topped out at 1080p for the primary as well as the selfie cameras. This phone only has electronic image stabilisation (EIS) and it was enabled by default. Footage shot while walking around had a very mild shimmer during the day, and this was amplified in low light.
The sub-Rs. 20,000 smartphone market is slowly seeing an increase in 5G-enabled smartphones from every manufacturer. The Moto G71 5G is a capable model in this price segment and one that you should definitely consider for your next purchase. It has a capable processor, good battery life with fast charging, and decent cameras. The Moto G71 5G will especially appeal to those who prefer a no-frills design and stock software experience.
Low-light camera performance is one area in which the Moto G71 5G falls short of being the perfect all-rounder. If you're looking for alternatives in this price range, the Redmi Note 11T 5G (Review), Realme 8s 5G (Review), and iQoo Z3 (Review) are also worth a look.